Granting of exploration licence to Europa is “a two fingers to the global climate movement” says Brid Smith TD.
The decision to grant Europa Oil and Gas a Frontier Exploration Licence to search for oil and gas off the Slyne Basin has been condemned by People before Profit TD Brid Smith. She said that the move was an act of environmental vandalism and was especially ironic coming after July global temperatures had broken all records and news that historic ice sheet melting in Greenland was raising alarm bells globally.
“It beggars believe that this Government and Minister think they can have any credibility on climate action while they continue to issue licences for exploration. This licence is good for 15 years and shows the utter disconnect between the words of Minister Bruton and his actions.”
The TD also said that the licence to Europa exposed another myth perpetuated by the Government while arguing against her Climate Emergency Bill, which sought to ban the issuing of licences for oil and gas exploration in Ireland. “One of their big claims is that we can look for fossil fuels as it’s better for the environment to use our own resources. The implication has been that we don’t need to leave any reserves of oil and gas in the ground here in Ireland – that’s a job for others in other parts of the world. Ironically the company that has just been given the licence is also searching for oil and gas off North Africa. It is quite clear this industry has no interest in curbing fossil fuel use regardless of the climate catastrophe that’s unfolding”
Deputy Smith said she intends to push for a change to Dáil Standing Orders that could free her Climate Emergency Bill from the current procedural block. “In September when the Dáil reconvenes we will resume our fight to end oil and gas exploration and we will see a massive protest on September 20th with ‘keep it in the ground’ as one of its central demands. The shareholders of these companies need to know that a ban on their activities is coming; the climate emergency demands that we take action”